Stars including Russell Brand, Slash, Josh Groban and Nia Vardalos have led tributes to late comedy legend Leslie Nielsen, who died on Sunday, November 28. The "Naked Gun" star passed away in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 12 days after he was admitted to hospital suffering from pneumonia.
Nielsen's death has sent shockwaves through Hollywood and a number of stars have come out on Twitter.com to honor the late actor and his comedy legacy, with many citing the famous catchphrase from his 1980 movie "Airplane!", "I am serious, and don't call me Shirley".
Fellow funnyman Brand paid tribute to Nielsen in a post, writing, "RIP. Leslie Nielsen. Shirley, he will be missed," while "Role Models" comic David Wain adds, "Can't count how many times I rewound the VHS to hear Leslie Nielsen say 'Nice Beaver!' (in The Naked Gun). I will miss him."
Slash wrote, "RIP Leslie Nielson, one of my all time favorite comedians. U (sic) my friend, will be missed big time. Wow, what a loss... & don't call me Shirley", while singer Groban admits he is stunned by the sad news, adding: "Shirley, this breaks my heart".
Vardalos adds, "RIP Leslie Nielsen. Shirley, you'll be missed," and actress Marlee Matlin, who was friends with the late star, writes, "A lovely man and acquaintance passed away today - Leslie Nielsen. What a lovely, funny, talented man. He will be missed. RIP."
As for Leslie Nielsen's family, a nephew named Doug has paid tribute to his late uncle in an emotional interview, describing the comic legend as a "caring, naturally funny guy" and a "truly nice man" who will be greatly missed. He described the Canadian star as one of his "best friends" and insisting the world has lost a leading light of comedy.
He tells the Vancouver Sun, "He had been in the hospital with pneumonia for the past 12 days, and in the last 48 hours it just got worse. This afternoon, surrounded by family, his wife and friends, he basically just fell asleep. It was very peaceful."
"He was truly a nice man. A very caring, naturally funny guy in day-to-day life, not just because someone wrote something on paper for him. He was a very tender-hearted man. He was one of my best friends and I loved him dearly. I'll miss him greatly."